Controlling your blood pressure with sweat and a smile
Almost half of adults in the U.S. have delayed going to the dentist because of the pandemic -- 75% of those folks postponed a regular checkup and over 12% skipped care for something bothering them, like bleeding gums. That's bad for oral health, but it has even more far-reaching repercussions, according to a study in Hypertension.
If you have severe periodontal gum disease, you're twice as likely to have an elevated systolic blood pressure (the top number) of 140 mmHg or more compared to folks with healthy gums. You're also likely to have other heart-damaging conditions, such as elevated glucose and lousy LDL cholesterol and chronic inflammation.
However, controlling blood pressure depends on more than keeping your gums healthy. You also need exercise -- and the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology has issued new guidelines that identify the specific forms that are most effective for controlling or preventing high blood pressure.
-- For people with blood pressure of 140/90 mmHg or higher, aerobic exercise, such as walking, running, cycling or swimming, is the most effective way to reduce high blood pressure.
-- For reduction of high-normal blood pressure (130-139/85-89 mmHg), dynamic resistance training, such as weight-lifting and doing squats and push-ups, is optimal.
-- People with normal blood pressure (less than 130/84 mmHg) can best prevent high blood pressure by doing isometric resistance training, such as handgrip exercises, wall sits and planks.
The blood-pressure-lowering effects of exercise last about 24 hours, say the researchers, so it's best to do the exercises daily. And remember, any physical activity done daily is better than none!
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer Emeritus at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit www.sharecare.com.
(c)2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.(c) 2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.